Thursday, July 28, 2011

Homosexuality, family & scapegoats?

I don't think homosexuality is the way God intended it. For families.

But also, I don't think an abusive man who torments his wife and children is the way God intended it.
Neither is a selfish and damaged woman who can't fully love her children because she doesn't love herself.
Neither is a weak man who won't step up and take responsibility for his family.

I think the ideal is to have two parents, a man and a woman, to provide a stable environment and to point to the relationship between us and God. I know from my own life how much my relationship with God was affected by not always having an earthly father to look to and see a reflection of the nature of my heavenly father.

But I also I see a lot of children with two parents who are far worse off than I was. I still had a loving mother and a Christian community of people, while they only have two very damaged parents. I think there are a lot of gay couples who would probably do a better job of raising a more secure and loved child than many heterosexual couples are currently doing.

I don't think homosexuality is something to be aimed for as the ideal for a family, but I think equally there are many other things we are aiming for in life even though they are not the ideal either. Why then is homosexuality held up as the biggest evil, as if it can somehow be a greater sin than anything else? What are we trying to take attention from in our own lives? Are we using homosexuality as a scapegoat?

I am fully aware of my own limited understanding, and my own inability to completely separate out social influences, habit and prejudice from what it is I actually believe.

The bottom line is...

We all fall short, and yet God loves us all. Who are we, then, to look at someone God loves and judge or condemn?

I always feel nervous writing about topics like this because it can raise so much controversy and misunderstanding. I hope my words convey that I am questioning, and mean everything I say in love, and not as an attack on any side.

Feel free to weigh in on this discussion with your own thoughts and experiences, but with love and compassion (and a full awareness of the log in your own eye over the speck in anyone else's!)


  1. Well, I have to admit that we (Christians in general) have a less than flattering tendency to "grade" sins on a scale based upon our own prejudices and pet peeves and emotions instead of letting God and His Word be our guide. As you suggest, homosexuality is no "worse" than any other sin in God's eyes. All sin in rebellion against God. Yet, I know plenty of Christians who practically foam at the mouth when discussion homosexuals, yet turn a blind eye to telling a "little white lie" or pocketing the occasional pen at work, or maybe using the work copier to make a stack of fliers for their upcoming yard sale. (That's theft unless you've been expressly told you can take a work resource for personal use.) And it's not just homosexual behavior that gets Christians worked up. They'll picket an abortion clinic, yet refuse to part with a single dime to help out the homeless because "those people" just need to get jobs! We are terribly prone to throwing fits about the sins we find particularly offensive, while ignoring those we see as "small" or "harmless." (That little white lie is still a lie.) It's this attitude that leads many to see Christians as arrogant or as having a "holier than thou" attitude. If we're guilty of it, then we certainly need to repent just like the homosexuals or thieves or murderers we find so "evil."

    Having said that, I think homosexuality is a hot button topic for Christians because it is at the forefront of media coverage and because most Christians see the push to make homosexuality "mainstream," including making same-sex marriages legal, as an attack on and threat to the Biblical foundation for how God expects us to live. That's not to say that it is the only societal trend that does this. Certainly there are plenty of others. (Prostitution, pornography, and "adult" clubs come to mind.) Homosexual "rights" just happen to be at the forefront at the moment. We can hardly turn on the news without encountering another story about gay marriage or a gay person saying they've been discriminated against or abused or bullied or something else. (Please understand that I am NOT saying it's okay to abuse or mistreat someone because of their sexual orientation!) I'm just saying that we see a new story about it on the news every single day. Humans have a fairly short attention span. We tend to focus on and talk about things that we see most often. If, using your example, a group of men got together and tried to make tormenting their wives and children "legal" and get it accepted as mainstream, "natural" behavior, I expect we'd see a similar outrage by Christians. (At least I hope we would!)

    The source of homosexual behavior and/or the Biblical stance on it is another topic entirely. Those discussions are guaranteed to ignite a firestorm of controversy, frequently less than civil from those on both sides. (More's the pity, since we, as Christians, ought to be able to share our beliefs with love.) It seems that you were just wondering why so many Christians seem to single out homosexual behavior while being less worked up about other sins. This is my answer to that question.

  2. Thanks for your comment. And I agree totally with what you say about how we tend to give sins a rating.

    But I also think that homosexuality isn't just a hot button topic - it's been around and under attack from Christians for a long time. And I feel for people who are on the receiving end of those attacks.

    And sort of on the same topic as rating sins, we seem to be able to find compassion for some people despite their "issues", while people who are homosexual have to suffer under our judgement of them as abhorrent people. This doesn't only happen to homosexuals of course. My point is that I feel pain in my heart for people that have felt so unloved by the church. As far as I can see, Jesus didn't put any qualifiers on His love. In fact, it was those who others scorned that he hung out with.

    Our responsibility as Christians is not to judge and work out what we think deserves to be stamped out, but to look beyond what the world sees, and love because God loves us.